5 tips to get better use out of Google Analytics
Last modified: 2019/02/25 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
Content marketing has plenty of different facets. As a result, there are many ways to go about excelling at the process. From the creative perspective, there are various ways to engage website visitors, improve SEO and rank high on Google. Of course, if you’re interested in the raw data of things, you might consider approaching content marketing from a different angle. When it comes to Google Analytics, this tool is excellent at helping you develop a thorough content strategy.
It’s important to be comfortable with reading basic Analytics data, as this will help you to implement strategies that increase your visibility and growth. So, we’ll get right down to it offering our tips to get better use out of Google Analytics!
5 tips to get better use out of Google Analytics
- Where the user is from including the city;
- Which device they’re using;
- Age and gender demographics;
- User interests;
- How the user found your website;
- Which pages they clicked on or engaged with;
- How long they spent on your site.
There are plenty of other things about your website visitors that you’re able to track using Google Analytics, and this can be done with a simple site configuration. In some cases, data is protected by way of privacy settings although enough should be available for you to have some idea about your target market.
Which Analytics data is important?
Now, the data which you focus your attention on will come down to why you’re using Analytics, to begin with. This may be your first time looking at Analytics and you’re simply interested in how your website is performing, or maybe you're interested in social media performance, how user-friendly your web design is or possibly an alternative area to improve.
Regardless, we’re going to go over some of the best ways to read and implement strategies that'll make your understanding and use of this tool much stronger.
1- What are you measuring and why?
As we briefly mentioned in the previous paragraph, this question is important when using Google Analytics because it will allow you to concentrate on and optimize for the important data in relation to your business. Since Analytics allows you to gather so much information about consumers, it’s crucial to know what to focus on in order to set up marketing strategies.
Even if interesting, ignore information that is meaningless to the visibility and growth of your business. Metrics that have nothing to do with your marketing strategy can be classified as vanity metrics and many businesses waste time on numbers that can’t be applied to actual strategizing or problem-solving. Take the time to carefully review reports that are the most relevant to what it is you’re doing as well as how you’re hoping to perform in the future.
2- Balance conversions and goals
It would be meaningless to collect a bunch of Analytics data and have no real plan of action. It's necessary to analyze Analytics data with a goal in mind. Your account should measure conversions using goals, as conversions will allow you to gather insights regarding if you are on track to meet them. In the majority of cases, your conversion rates are more important than KPIs.
If you have several goals, measure them based on their importance, and pay attention to those which have the biggest impact on your overall performance as well as driving you closer to your overall objectives.
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3- Properly configure Analytics
As we mentioned in our introduction, Google Analytics offers plenty of ways to analyze and measure data. You’ll want your account configured so it can measure the aspects of your business that are most important. This will help to both ensure data accuracy as well as opening you up to many aspects of Analytics that’ll allow you to better analyze your traffic. Here are some aspects of Analytics that are important to pay attention to:
- Event: set up and track these
- Campaigns: these can be tracked to see how they’re performing
- E-commerce: if you’re running an e-commerce site, there is a specific way to track traffic and conversions
- Demographics and interests: enable these reports to gain in-depth information about visitors
- Keyword and site speed: this data can help you to improve the current content on your website
- Adwords: if you use Adwords, we’d suggest linking this account with your Analytics account
- Experiments: use these to measure ways which you can improve
These aspects of the tool can offer serious insight into how you’re doing as well as key ways to strategize and improve.
4- Audience Overview
Now, to look specifically at one of the easiest ways to check out website performance is to look over the Google Analytics Audience Overview. This will give you crucial details about how many unique visitors found themselves on your website. Looking at this data and the sessions tab offers you the total number of visitors to your website, and the way in which new as well as returning visitors are identified. These numbers are straightforward but offer a valuable place to begin thinking about how much visibility you have as well as considerations regarding how to improve them.
We’re sure by now we’ve made it clear that focusing on the Analytics information that applies directly to your business is the best course of action. This can be further achieved through custom dashboards and reports. Spend some time creating a few dashboards that focus on key performance indicators which relate to your goals.
A custom dashboard should be created for each of the metrics you outlined in your initial rundown of what’s most important when it comes to doing good. If you’re not into the idea of creating a custom dashboard, we’d suggest looking into the templates which Analytics offers. These have been created by other Analytics users and can be exceptionally useful.
Not only are custom dashboards a thing, but you can also create custom reports that have been designed for your needs alone. These reports offer insight into past performance and need to be reviewed regularly, otherwise, they will have very little impact on your strategies moving forward. Try and complete this review once a month. Not to mention if you make any major updates or changes to your website, it’s crucial to check reports to see how this has affected the performance of your website.